THE IRISH STOAT 437 their colour in the winter, there are individuals which seem, to have lost the power of change, and others which change in an apparently capricious manner, not influenced by season or cold, like so many other animals, the Stoat appears at times to migrate, which it does in large parties. Such parties are said to be dangerous, and will attack a man who crosses their path. The Weasel, JP. vulgctris, has much the same colour as the Stoat, but is a smaller animal; it differs also by undergoing no seasonal change. It is equally agile and ferocious, and ought to be encouraged, as it vents its ferocity largely upon Voles and Moles, which it can pursue underground. lake other species of Putorius, it seems to kill its prey by biting through the brain-ease. Tije fourth British species is the recently-described Irish Stoat, P. hikernicus. It is somewhat intermediate between the lf$t two. Poecilogale is a genus recently instituted by Mr. Thomas for a small South African Weasel, P. albinucfoa, coloured like the Zorilla, i.e. with whitish stripes upon black, but differing in its reduced molar formula, which is Pm -J- M -J- or -J-. Lyncodo-n1 is thought to be more doubtful; it is South American (Patagonian), with the same molar formula as the most reduced forms of the last genus, i.e. Pm •§• M \. The ears are short and almost invisible; fche claws of the anterior limbs are long, those of the hind limbs short. It is not quite certain that it is not " an aberrant southern form of Putoriius brasiliensis" That its distinction is justifiable appears to be shown by the discovery in the same region of a fossil species, L. luganensis. Matschie places it near Galictis. The Eatei, Melliworii, is common to India and West and South Africa. It is a black animal with a grey back and grey on the top of the head, the contrast of colour suggesting a dorsal carapace. It runs with a swift trot. The animal lives much on the ground, but can climh trees. It is exclusively nocturnal in its habits. It has the reputation in India of feeding upon dead bodies, a view which has probably no foundation in fact save that it can burrow. The molar formula is Pm f- M ^. There are fourteen dorsal vertebrae. The African and Indian species are 1 See Matscliie, SB. <?«*. Mduof. Berlin, 1895, p. 171.